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Where And What Is Balochistan?

There is a war going on inside Balochistan. Here is some recent footage. Viewer discretion is advised. 

Balochistan is part of Pakistan. (Apparently it was not part of India. Correction.)  Balochistan borders Iran to the west and Afghanistan to the north. Please see the map here:

Balochistan borders Iran and Afghanistan

The green border is Pakistan, Balochistan is in red.

Balochistan is one of the four provinces of Pakistan. It is the largest province in terms of land area, forming the southwestern region of the country, but is the least populated. Its provincial capital and largest city is Quetta. Balochistan shares borders with Punjab and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the northeast, Sindh to the east and southeast, the Arabian Sea to the south, Iran to the west and Afghanistan to the north and northwest.

There are about 10 million Balochi people in the world – and they live largely in the areas straddling the Iran, Afghan and Pakistan borders. The largest number, about SEVEN million Balochis live in Balochistan inside Pakistan. 

This is what the Balochi people look like :

In 1978 there was a Hollywood movie called ‘Caravans’ featuring Anthony Quinn. The movie was based on what went on in Afghanistan.  

Although Balochistan itself was not part of the story but the Afghan tribes including the Baloch, were part of the script.  I believe what was pictured in that movie in 1978 is pretty accurate till today.

Ok here is the problem. The Baloch do not consider themselves Pakistani. Historically they have been part of the Persian Empire. Linguistically they are linked to the Kurdish people and (some say) they trace back to the area of Syria. Its one of those ‘ancient history’ things.

They definitely dislike Urdu – the official language of Pakistan and call the Pakistani government the ‘Panjabi government’. 

Since 1948 there has been active resistance from inside Balochistan against the Pakistani governments. As you can see in the video above, this resistance seems to have gone up many notches recently. 

Those fighters in the video do not appear to be rag tag militia.  The platoon strength attacking the Pakistani Army convoy appears to know tactics. They also march in file and appear disciplined. They are also well armed and seem to shoot pretty straight.  There appears to be command, control and coordination. Meaning there must also be leadership, logistics and money behind all this. 

The grievances are the brutal methods of the Panjabi Army and that Pakistan extracts more from Balochistan than they put back in it. (Sounds familiar?)  But the real grievance is the Baloch people just want to be independent.

This problem will not be resolved until the Baloch achieve independence. Or Pakistan becomes an economic powerhouse that cares equally for all its people – regardless of their race and language. Then the Baloch may decide to stick with Pakistan. But that may not happen – not for a long time. So the Baloch Liberation Front, Baloch Liberation Army, the Baloch Freedom movement etc will find much support from the Baloch people. 

India has a strong presence in Afghanistan with obviously covert involvement in Balochistan. It is the tit for tat power play between India and Pakistan (over Kashmir). 

Iran may not be happy to see an independent Balochistan next to its borders when there are about THREE million  Balochis living inside Iran. 

Watch this spot on the map folks.  We may hear more about them.

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